Diary of Enugu, Day One: Ifeanyi Ubah seems to be Jesus Gill in disguise

I had my game face on before Friday's games
I had an early start and do not ask me why I was out of the house at 5am this morning.

But having left the house I remembered my two boys had for the last two months had this craze for bread and blue band margarine (they are specific on this brand) so I decided to search for bread.

The plan was to get it home on time to they could have it before going to school since I would leave for Enugu before it was their time.

Guy! There was not a single person selling bread in Port Harcourt at 5:30am, why?

From Agip through GRA to Olu-Obasanjo road and I could not find a soul selling bread.

Rather than go back home the same way, I chose to go through Rumuola. Certainly there would be bread sellers under the Fly over but there were none.

I drove through Rumuola and it was completely empty so I decided to go through Rumuokwuta but found the same situation.

At this point I remembered Lagos and I told myself I would find fresh bread in Lagos even at 4 am.

I drove through Ada George road and still nothing.

Well, we are Port Harcourt. We only sell bread when we want.

INEC Office like a war zone

In my quest to find bread, I drove past the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC office. It was about 20 minutes past 5 am at the time and it was under siege.

It was as though they had discovered weapons of mass destruction there and the whole Armed Forces of the country were there to defuse and retrieve them.

There were army and police trucks parked around the road in front of the building (Aba Road).

But aside the police and army who were there to do their jobs, I noticed civilians from probably the major political parties, PDP and APC who kept vigil there in a bid to forestall political opponents sneaking in to cart away sensitive materials.

All I can say is that Nigeria is a tough place to be in.

Bitter leaf soup

As soon as we arrived in Enugu later in the day, Emeka Dennar, Victor Ezeji and I, Victor suggested we get something to eat and we all settled for bitter leaf soup and eba since they had no wheat that I would have loved.

Emeka Dennar, like the true Igbo man asked to mix bitter leaf and egusi soup.

The last time I did that mix was in my University days in the late 80s/early 90s.

The bitter leaf soup was not bad but the eba was horribly prepared.

After that we headed to our hotel, a hidden place on the outskirts of Enugu and Imama Amakapabo came over to welcome his brothers from Port Harcourt to the coal city.

Next up was a rest and then the stadium for the Super 4 Match Day 2 games.

Great two games there at the Super 4. Rangers’coach, Imama Amapakabor is a mad man. Who makes all eleven changes to his team after a 2-0 win? But Imama did against Wikki Tourist and he said he would do the same in their final game against FC Ifeanyi Ubah.

It ended 0-0 but Rangers as usual seemed the slightly better side.

In the second game, the resurgence of Rivers United continued as they beat FC Ifeanyi Ubah 2-0.

Noise makers in the stadium

If the stadium was a classroom and I was the monitor told to write names of noise makers by the teacher, I would certainly have written the names of Emeka Nwani, Dumnodi Okonta and Tobi Adepoju.

It is always very difficult focusing on your game when these three are around you, but isn’t that the beauty of the job with colleagues around you.
At a point in the first game, Emeka Nwani said he knew two of the four clubs that would be relegated at the end of the next football season.

He claimed one would be from the South West and another from the north.

At that point, Tobi Adepoju said it would not be Shooting Stars and someone, I think, Dumnodi reminded Tobi of the games Shooting have played in pre-season.

Tobi Adepoju, responding to the scandalous losses in pre-season by Shooting Stars said the players that featured in the game were not real players of the club but triallists.

According to him, “we didn’t even let them were our jerseys. They wore bibs because they were not qualified to be called Shooting Stars players.”

Suddenly, Olawale Quadri looked back and said, “MFM plays good football,” and he was shouted down immediately.

Someone reminded him that even with their good football, the whole country had to go into prayer and fasting mode on the last day of the season to see that they escape relegation.

As soon as the game ended at about 9pm, the story broke that the Japanese coach of FC Ifeanyi Ubah had been sacked.

I had actually joked about it during the game that he could be sacked on Sunday, but someone said he will be sacked after the game if they lost to Rivers United.

On our way out of the stadium we were told he had been sacked already.

I just shrugged my shoulders.

Ifeanyi Ubah reminds me of Jesus Gil, once president of Atletico Madrid.

Jesus Gil was famous for sacking coaches in his time as president of Atletico Madrid.

In sixteen years as club president, Gil had thirty seven coaches. In one season, Atletico Madrid had six different coaches.

FC Ifeanyi Ubah have one the Federation Cup in their first full season. Let’s see what kind of success the musical chairs will bring for them this season.

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  1. Did FCIU sack the man? Na wa o!! So dis Ubah man no dey play?